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Issue: #3April 14, 2015

Business & Labor Committee Advances Bill to Remedy Problems with Uninsured Independent Contractors - LB 276

IIAN's top issue for the two-year legislative session is LB 276, introduced by Business & Labor Committee Chairman Burke Harr of Omaha at IIAN's request, to address the growing problem of independent contractors who do not insure themselves for workers compensation.


After several weeks of negotiation on a final committee amendment, and grassroots support by IIAN members, on April 9 the Unicameral Business & Labor Committee voted unanimously to advance the bill to General File (ready for first-round consideration by the full legislature), with a compromise limiting the bill to construction work.

    Other provisions in the committee amendment: 

  • Certification would be regulated by the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court
  • 11 points for the administrator of the Court to consider for determination of whether an applicant is qualified to be certified
  • An appeal procedure for applications which are denied
  • Original certification will be in effect for two years; renewal application must be filed
  • Certification may be revoked during term by independent contractor or Court administrator.  Names grounds for revocation.
  • Any person who provides false information on an application, and any person who requires an employee to provide false information, is guilty of a Class IV misdemeanor
  • A certified independent contractor may elect to be covered under the Workers' Compensation Act at any time (automatically terminates certification)
  • Failure to apply or denial/revocation of certification will not create a presumption that the applicant is an "employee" for purposes of the Workers' Compensation Act

This is a big step forward for LB 276, but since it is not a "Priority" bill, it will most likely be carried over to the 2016 Unicameral session; in the interim IIAN will work with senators and stakeholders on possible improvements.   Thanks to Senator Harr and all of the senators on the Business & Labor Committee, along with IIAN members who answered the call for grassroots support.     

IIAN Members Headed To Washington - IIABA Legislative Conference 

Conference Focuses On Regulation, Crop Insurance, Healthcare

Next week, 13 IIAN members and staff will join 1,000 agents from across the country at the Big "I" National Legislative Conference in Washington D.C.  Led by President Phil Winkelmann and IIABA State Government Relations Chairman John Deardorff, IIAN's representatives will hold a series of meetings with Nebraska's Congressional delegation to lobby on behalf of agents -- meeting personally with Senators Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse, and Representatives Adrian Smith, Brad Ashford, and Jeff Fortenberry. Included in the IIAN contingent will be the winners of Big "I" Young Agent and Grassroots conference scholarships:  Vincent Christensen, St. Paul; Matthew Gerken, Omaha; and Lori Ruzicka, Omaha.  Attendees will hear from Congressional leaders such as U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana), as well as top insurance company CEO's.


Two Insurance-Related Priority Bills On The Move
With the 2015 Unicameral session more than 2/3 over, "Priority" bills named by senators, committees, and Speaker Glenn Hadley stand the best chance of being acted upon this session.  

There are three insurance-related Priority bills on IIAN's "watch" list:
  • LB 458 (Speaker Priority) to authorize limited lines travel insurance producer licenses advanced to Select File (second round of voting) on April 2, with a committee amendment; 
  • LB 480 (Business & Labor Committee Priority) to change computation of compensation for Workers Compensation has not yet been advanced to the floor;  and
  • LB 629 (Transportation Committee Priority) to provide for regulation and insurance requirements for transportation network companies (TNC's - like Uber and Lyft) - advanced to General File (first-round consideration by the full legislature) on April 8, with a committee amendment.  On March 25, Uber and a group of insurance companies announced a new compromise on "national model" bill language, which has several provisions not included in LB 629, as amended.  
Read IIAN White Paper on LB 629.   Read final Committee amendement.


See more details on all of the bills IIAN is watching in IIAN's weekly Unicameral Update, updated every Monday during the session at www.iian.org.   Read the full text of any bill using the "Bill Search" feature on the Unicameral website -  click here.

How To Contact Us

Jim Cavanaugh, Legislative Representative
1-800-342-3352/402-341-2020 Office  402-301-9675 Cell
Carol McClelland, CAE, Chief Executive Officer

1-800-377-3985/402-476-2951 Office  402-432-5113 Cell

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